COLUMBUS - It was a day of mixed emotions in the open in day of the state track meet as Covington advanced to the finals in two events and saw its season end in another event.
Ben Miller, who earned two state medals a year ago, kept his quest alive for more hardware as he advanced in the 300 meter hurdles and was a part of the Buccs' 4x100 meter relay team that qualified for the finals.
In the 300 meter hurdles, Miller finished fourth in his heat, but narrowly squeaked into the finals with the ninth fastest qualifying time of 40.74, edging the 40.81 time turned in by Michael Hartway of Columbus Africentric.
"It felt slow," said Miller of his performance. "I haven't been able to work inn the hurdles all week because of my hip and it showed. I could feel it throughout the race, that I wasn't very smooth."
Still, Saturday is another day and Miller has one final opportunity to put it all together. Outside of Chad Zallow of Warren JFK, everyone else in the final field is very close to each other in times.
Miller will also see action in the finals in the 4x100 meter relay as he teamed with Ethan Herron, Shane Straw and Brandon Magee to finish fourth in their heat and qualify with the eight fastest time of 44.48, despite a shaky handoff.
Again, everyone in the final field is very close in time - within one second.
For the girls 4x200 meter relay team, it was a memorable experience just to have the opportunity to compete at the state meet as three of the four girls are freshman.
And in spite of finishing 12th and falling short of advancing to the finals, the team of senior Heidi Cron and freshmen Shae Robinson, Tori Lyle and Breanna Kimmel have plenty to be proud of after establishing a new school record of 1:47.77 last week at Troy to qualify for the state meet.
Covington ran a 1:49.14 in the prelims, but once a disqualified of another team was announced rumors spread like a wildfire that New London had impeded Covington's runners.
But Covington coach Dave Tobias put the rumors to rest.
"No, they (New London) were disqualified because they went out of the exchange zone on one of their handoffs," he explained. "If we were impeded, they would have called us down to give us a choice to run again by ourselves. They (New London) didn't affect us at all."
The remaining Buccaneers return to the track tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9:30 for the finals.